Are the maintenance books right?

Discussion in 'CD 1000-maintenance' started by Staffdieter, 1 January 2010 Social URL.

  1. Staffdieter

    Staffdieter Full Member

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    I reached my goal weight on CD in November, and am now keen to maintain it.

    I have read that only 5% of people keep their weight off for a year, and 1% keep it off for 5 years, so I know that the odds are stacked against me, and fellow minimins dieters.

    In order to give myself the best chance of succeeding, I ordered a small fortune worth of books on various aspects of dieting and have been steadily working through them. They ranged from books on emotional eating, books on what tempts us to over eat, books on GI and GL.

    Although I've been overwhelmed by the sheer amount of advice, and the fact that some of it is contradictory, I thought the main conclusions may be of interest to fellow maintainers.

    In terms of who know's best, there is a national weight registry which maintainers can register on when they have maintained their weight for a year. Research is regularly done with this group to identify what habits help people succeed at maintenance. The vast majoirity of those that succeed eat breakfast every day, regularly weigh themselves, control calorie intake, and tend to eat consistently at weekends and holidays. If they start to put on weight, it is very rare for them to remedy this, and hardly any manage to do this, so the suggestion is that you should remain vigilant at all times!

    In terms of the 'tricks of the trade'. It would appear best to focus on eating, ensuring the TV is turned off, and every mouthful savoured. It would appear to be a good idea to assess how hungry you are before the meal, and how much it satisfies you, and to give yourself a minute of contemplation before eating anything. There are suggestions that you eat half your meal then reflect on whether you really want the other half, or leave it 20 mins and see if you still want it then. There are suggestions that you eat off smaller plates, and use slim glasses, making sure that the only food in sight is healthy food.

    In terms of what to eat, the general consensus appear to be to eat foods as near to nature and as far from the processing plant as possible. There is a lot of support for the low GL approach, with harsh words about the previous obsessions with low fat and low carb diets of the past!!.

    In terms of extremes on book suggests that carbs are absolutely banned in the evening, and no eating should take place after 9.00. Another effectively bans milk and bread.

    I intend to give all these ideas house room, and try them over coming months- wondered if any of the succesful maintainers on minimins have found any of these ideas succesful?
     
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  3. boardwitless

    boardwitless Silver Member

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    Very useful and informative - can't give you any help on what makes a successful maintainer as I'm only heading that way myself, but I do hope to be one in the future!
     
  4. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    Ooooh, my sort of thread :clap: I feel a long reply coming on :D

    I may have to do it in bits :eek:
     
  5. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    Well done :clap: The maintenance part is the hardest to understand IMO. There are so many different ways to get your head around it and much more personalized.

    I watch the NCWR a lot and have done for a few years now. I haven't checked these figures but I think they are higher than this.

    I remember when I was dieting, the low success rate for maintainers really shocked me, but I realised I'm not a statistic. I can either chose to be one of those that maintains, or one that puts it back on again. It's not really stack against me...I have total freedom to chose which way I want to go.
    Always good to read up :clap: I believe that the problem many people have maintaining, is that they look to the diet (as in weight loss diet) to work out how to maintain. This can work short term, but appears to be less successful over a longer time. I have some issues with GI/GL, but probably best for me to keep it off this forum :D

    Emotional eating, well....that's a funny one. I wouldn't say I was an emotional eater as most people define it, as I was happy to eat all the time :D A habitual eater yes, a compulsive eater yes, but not just an emotional eater. Gillian Riley's book is interesting and if I remember rightly she doesn't believe that the problem is 'emotional eating'. Guess it comes down to your definition of emotional eating.

    What tempts us to overeat. Yes, lots of stuff. Did a link in my diary thread yesterday about one cause in particular with new research about the ghrelin hormone. But it's more than that...way more.
     
  6. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    Yes, lots of contradictions because people have different motivations. What some people make work will feel alien to others. Also people often research to back up what they believe to be right, and can often prove their theories. You have to keep searching and searching and keep a very open mind I've found.

    And yes...I'll be back in a mo (again:D)
     
  7. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    Yep. There is no on/off to maintenance IMO. That doesn't mean there are no overeating times, but I think it's 'dangerous' to hop off the maintenance wagon over a period of time.

    Unfortunately people get stuck in the dieting mindset. They find it difficult to break out of the days/weeks/months off plan and set days when they will get on to it again. True maintenance IMO is about living in the 'now'.
    I'll mostly go along with this, though I admit to eating when the TV is on. I don't always focus on eating, but I do try to.

    And the other bit about eating naturally. I do this most of the time. I don't chose foods because they have been manufactured to make them low calorie. Well, no unless I prefer the taste of them like that.

    I'm sort of 50/50 about this. Much of my learning processes have come about through making sure unhealthy foods are in sight, so that I can get into the habit of chosing to ignore them. Having said that, there's a place for both ways depending on where you are with maintenance.

    Yep. Low fat is a UK obsession and low carb is a US one :D When it comes to low fat, people often misunderstand what low fat is. For dieting it's often as low as 5%. That's fine because it's easier to eat lots without adding on so many calories (more cals per gram etc and doesn't work well with the volumetrics way of losing weight which most traditional diets follow). Government guidelines consider low fat as about 30%. I was gobsmacked when I read that. It's roughly what I get.

    Lots of people prefer to low carb in maintenance, but IMO (again...as I have lots of opinions :D) they often do it because of misunderstandings. Sometimes it's a valid way to go though...as long as they are aware of how the scales can play havoc with this way of eating, and not be disheartened by the glycogen gain.

    I do believe that low carb is very useful when dieting, because of the reduction in hunger/cravings and also the added protein to help spare lean loss....but that's dieting, not maintenance. Each to their own but I wish people really understood what they are chosing.

    Yeah, I've seen that. Of course, total rubbish, but if they find that works for them with keeping their calories down, then hey..it works. Doesn't make any difference in any other way though. It's all calories in vs calories out regardless of when it's eaten.

    Think that it now :D
     
  8. Bess

    Bess Plod, plod, plod.....

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    This is really interesting and helpful, thankyou both. Understanding why I overeat at times and doing something about it is exactly where I am now. ( Actually it's where we all are I suppose pre CD as well.... but I hope you know what I mean.)
    I am really mystified by my habitual behaviour, which is sensible eating 99% of the time during the day and really overeating 1%, almost always in the evening. This is what I am trying to tackle and I won't give up. But it's obviously a difficult thing for me to control and I'm puzzled by this and want to find out more to help me.
    I can't quite understand why some people advocate eating with out doing something else. All our meals are taken together, often with extra friends and that's a time for conversation, laughter and fun. Thought that was a good thing?
    What does IMO mean?
     
  9. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    Yes. I think it's good :) I'm amazed at how many people believe in only one sort of healthy eating. Feeding the body. People say that when they get to goal they will eat healthily. Yay for that. They assume that I just eat heathily...cool.

    Not true though. There are different kinds of healthy habits. When it comes to eating healthily I believe in my mental heathy, body health and social health.

    Mental health means not depriving myself of sensible portions of food that will do little to damage my body health in the grand scheme of things. A little of what I fancy.

    Body health for making sure that in the most part I'm eating well for my physical self.

    Social health. Sometimes that means eating what others want me to eat. It happens occasionally. The odd bit of something that people want to enjoy with me. Not having my favourite dinner because Auntie Mabel has cooked something else etc

    It's getting the balance.
    In My Opinion. I do that one lots as I have lots of opinions :D
     
  10. LizzMB

    LizzMB WILL be Slim!

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    I am exactly that same Bess!!!! I am all about the evening foods!
    I can eat like a saint all day, but then 5 minutes can screw it all up! I dont even taste the food i'm eating....well, i do the first mouthful, but then i will wake up when its all gone....and then the guilt sets in and then the cycle starts again!

    I need to learn to never take food up to bed with me.....as i have my laptop, tv, books etc that take my focus away from what im doing....it also makes the food far too accessible for those "missed" binge moments. If i grab 2 sweets and walk away, im less likely to go back for more out of sheer laziness!

    There will always be a lot of contradictions in the way forward for losing weight and keeping it off as each scientist only looks for things that back up their theories....everyone has different theories hence why we end up with food that kill and cure us, all in one hit! I love science! it just comes across as manipulation of figures until you get what you want! lol

    I think the maintaining side of things is very personal. I know bread and I are just not friends. I know that Carbs after 6pm makes me bloated and i also know i "should" stay off wheat.....but these are usually things i totally ignore, hence the weight gain since september!

    Diets/maintaings, like life, is one HUGE learning curve! and i think that is the hardest bit. Its easy to stick ones head in the ground and pretend that we can eat what we want.....learning and accepting that it just isnt the case is the first major step i think!
    I get compacent very easily....i feel like i have conquered the world of dieting which makes me go back to old habits! Stupid really! I'm bloody fat for a reason! tut!

    Good "food" for thought!

    xx
     
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  11. Staffdieter

    Staffdieter Full Member

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    Thanks for such an extensive response KD.

    I think you are right about making a conscious decision not to be influenced by 'statistics' but to be committed to maintenance. Its not like aiming to win the lottery, it isn't about luck its about will power, determination, prioritisation and planning, and so there is no reason why anyone can not select to be a succesul maintainer. The way you suggest approaching it is really helpful.

    I'de be interested to hear your comments on GL and GI, I have some reservations, and would be interested in whether yours are the same.

    I seem to have got myself to a place where I happily eat sparingly during the day although I have a good breakfast, but have most of my calories in the early evenings. Overall I am keeping within a calorie budget, so in a way I am planning for the evening excess by eating very carefully during the day. This probably wont fit in with the theories, but if it works for me then I am thinking of sticking with it for now? I'm not sure if Bess and others may think about this pragmatic approach if it continues to be a problem for them as well.

    I think your comments about emotional eating certainly fit in with me, I am someone who enjoys eating for eating's sake, and it is rare that I need to eat for other reasons. So I am probably a bit habitual and a bit compulsive.

    One other question if I may? I am 5 ft 9 and weight 10st 9 - a BMI of 21.9, having lost 5st. Although I know I have lost a lot of weight because my clothes have needed to be replaced with much smaller sizes, I still dont really feel slim. Is this normal? I have heard your mind sometimes needs time to catch up with your body? The main area I still feel 'fat' is around my tummy, I also think this area still looks flabby. I had thought of leaving it a couple of months and then possibly trying to loose the 9 lbs to bring me down to 10 stone exact, the weight I was 20 years ago!!! Does this seem a sensible approach, or do I really need to settle permanently with my current weight.

    Thanks for your help, comments and advice, I have read much of what you have said on the various forums, and what I like is the way you look at things with an added insight, and reflect and develop new ideas.
     
  12. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    Exactly

    Yes, I have reservations too. More in the next post.
    I can really understand this approach as I have done this many times in the past. It didn't work for me long term though as I found that by not eating much in the daytime, I was more inclined to overeat (either keeping within cals, or going over) in the evening. My ultimate aim wasn't to watch the calories (though I did do that for a long time...and pleased I did!), but I wanted to change the way I thought about food....and weight...and using calories as per dieting IYKWIM.

    I wanted to use calories to give me a firm understanding of what I needed to eat, help portion sizes, to make sure I didn't undereat as well as overeat and to see how it affected by body when I did do either of these things.

    I used it as a tool to help me get into a normal eating pattern.

    What I didn't want to do was use it as a tool to help me maintain my weight. Well, that wasn't my priority, though of course I wanted to maintain it, but it was more important to me to learn to eat normally. If I considered that eating little in the day and eating more at night felt right for me regardless of any implications of weight/calories etc, then I would have continued, but I knew I was still working in dieting mode. Still making the calories work for the sole purpose of not gaining weight, rather than getting into healthy eating habits.

    Yes. Very normal. It's highly unlikely that you aren't slim at this BMI...but of course, you may not match up to the very, very skinny folk, nor the photoshopped piccies of models and celebs in the papers.

    That's entirely up to you, but bear in mind that between the age of 18 and middle age, 'normal' eaters who have never dieted put on about 20lbs. This is due to hormones (mainly leptin), and is entirely normal. Fight against it and along with having already lost a lot of weight (which will disagree with the leptin again) and you could find it very difficult to maintain.

    If it becomes too difficult, then you could end up yoyo dieting constantly to correct and whoosh goes all the head work again.

    Thankyou. I tend to think outside the box (I'm told) and do like to argue with everything :D I took everything I knew, everything I believed in, in terms of dieting and weight control and I attempted to blast them all out of the system. It was only then that I could look at both sides and get a clearer understand of what I needed to do.

    Back to the GI/GL thing (probably tomorrow as it's getting late)
     
    Last edited: 9 January 2010
  13. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    Firstly, I'm not against the GI/GL idea. In fact in the most part I think that following it can help. After all, many low GI foods are natural unprocessed foods and that can't be a bad thing.

    Secondly, I haven't gone into it in a lot of detail because I didn't want to focus on that. I had no plans on changing the way my family ate (just my habits etc around food). They are natural eaters have an an excellent relationship with food. They eat well, a wide range of foods and stay slim. It wasn't broke, so I didn't want to mess with it.

    Besides...youngest son (aged 17) is very active and probably needs a variety of high and low GI/GL foods.

    So anyway, my thoughts and why I'm not in 100% agreement with much of what is written about it. I could be wrong and no doubt with new research that I may have missed, time will tell.

    The original research that sparked it all off was flawed in my opinion

    From what I gather, the results were based on how foods raised blood sugars and this was the basis of the GI index. Other research has shown that it's more important to base it on how quickly the glucose is raced out of the system.

    The researchers also used people who had fasted, and ate isolated foods after the fast. The GI levels would be different compared to how we eat in real life and what we have eaten before and with our meals will change the results.

    I found it complicated. Yes, this and that was low GI, but bung it with something else and it changes...cook it a bit more or a bit less and you have another result...mash your spuds too much and hey another result (and I like my mashed spuds!). I didn't want to study my bananas to check for the level of ripeness which would be the deciding factor for GI. I just wanted to grab a banana and hey why would that be wrong :confused:

    Also, if the GI index was correct, it should correlate well with the satiety index...and it doesn't. For instance white rice and potatoes score high on the satiety index, but are considered high GI. That doesn't make sense to me. And along with some healthy foods being high GI, and some unhealthy foods low GI (watermelon vs snicker bars)

    So, I prefer to find what works for me. What I need to eat to keep me going if I know I wont be eating for a while. What will work if I'm planning on a mid morning snack. What fills me more, but leaves me hungry soon after, and what seems to keep me in a neutral state for longer. What mixtures of foods work well. Carbs with fat can make me crave more depending on what protein I have with them. Carbs without so much fat (dry toast vs toast with butter) don't make me crave so much. And how I can deal with foods that do make me crave...and the time, and my behaviours after them.

    It's my own personalized GI table :D and there's an awful lot of time in maintenance to experiment at length to find out what works for us.
     
  14. Bess

    Bess Plod, plod, plod.....

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    I had thought about this and try it sometimes. It seems to fit very well around my working day when I'm out. The thing is, it seems to me to be a short term fix (which may not be a bad thing) and not really 'sensible eating.' But as I say, while I'm such a learner at maintaining that may not matter.

    I'm also not surprised that you dont feel thin. But given your stats. you must be. They say it can take a long time for your head to catch up with your body. However, I think this is rather scary because that's the way anorexics think isn't it?

    Interesting thoughts and info from KD on low GI things......There was some more interesting stuff on calories yesterday on the radio. Seems that the calorific values we all use were determined more than 100 years ago and that exactly the same food but prepared differently will have different calories. Really it was dependent on whether it was mushed up, or not. So, a steak for instance has less calories that exactly the same piece of meat made into a burger, both cooked in the same way. Odd, I thought, but perhaps not if digestion of the mushy food is easier? Less calories used?
     
  15. herewego

    herewego Gold Member

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    This is why I'm trying not to take anything I read too seriously these days. There's so much contradictory information out there and most research is funded by the food industry in order to prove a theory and so it's biased and the result will be interpreted in a favourable light or (if the result is not what they want) disregarded or flawed for whatever reason. There's a book called "The Diet Delusion" which talks about this a lot. Of course this book is also very biased but it makes an interesting read about the many things we regard as facts and how they often have no scientific basis...
     
  16. Bess

    Bess Plod, plod, plod.....

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    Difficult one this Alli, isnt it? Unless we do the research ourselves, how can we be sure.? Mind you this applies to everything really doesn't it? Politics, flat earth....best to do as you say I think. Who wrote the book?
     
  17. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    Yep true. When I check out stuff, I tend to go first to the author of the paper and find out who's financing them. If it's just a webpage rather than a research paper, I'll check where they are registered. Then I check out again with people I trust. People who are independent, qualified, open minded, keep up with the latest, and don't mind admitting to being wrong :D

    Trouble is though, much research (especially when it's a published paper) is based on what we know now...not what we'll find out in the future. It's all we have at the moment and without it we'd all be wondering why we get fat and what we have to do to lose it. We have to trust something eventually.
     
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